Medical debt on consumer credit reports is huge problem in this country. As reported by the International Business Times:
According to a study by the Commonwealth Fund, 22 percent of adults—approximately 41 million consumers—were contacted by a collection agency over unpaid medical bills in 2012. Another study, by Ernst & Young in 2012, found that medical debts made up more than half (52.2 percent) of the debt that collection agencies go after—even more than credit card and other financial debt (20 percent).
America’s medical billing system is utterly dysfunctional and rife with errors. Consequently, there’s a good chance that a medical bill is hurting your credit.
Gerri Detweiler, the Director of Consumer Education at Credit.com has done some good work in educating the public on the issue of medical debt. In her article, “4 Medical Bill Myths That Can Cost You Dearly” she provides the following you should be aware of:
- Myth 1: As long as I am making payments on a medical bill, it can’t be sent to collections.
- Myth 2: I have to be notified before a medical bill is turned over for collections.
- Myth 3: Medical collection accounts are treated differently than other types of collection accounts when credit scores are calculated.
- Myth 4: To clean up my credit, I need to pay off medical collection accounts